Open Mic: Questioning Standards for Best Athletes

Jake DunnContributor IJune 19, 2008

Q: Where would the USA soccer team rank amongst the worlds best if its top athletes grew up playing soccer?
Which athletes from other sports would make great soccer players?
A: The US could very well be a dominant force in soccer if our top athletes chose to focus their time on soccer.
Instead the best athletes choose to play sports such as basketball and football. This could work for all sports though if, as a country, we concentrated on just one sport.
Q: Which sport has the best pound-for-pound athletes from a physical perspective?
Which sport takes the most mental toughness to excel at?
A: Either basketball or football.
They have to use hands, feet. They have to run, jump; use their body to push people around, etc.
They're not as one dimensional as other sports such as soccer.
Q: Which star athletes have the skills necessary to succeed in other sports?
Do you believe tennis players would make strong baseball hitters, and hockey players’ talented golfers?
A: Many athletes could play other sports if they concentrated on them, obviously.
Most pro athletes excelled in more than one sport in high school and even college. LeBron and Allen Iverson, to name a couple, were very good football players in high school.
A.I.'s high school coach thinks Iverson would have gone pro if not for a knee injury that forced him to stop playing.
As for the examples— No.
Tennis players would have trouble playing baseball, as an athlete who plays both I know that tennis messes with your baseball swing and vice versa.
I have no idea about hockey players playing golf but it seems to me that anyone can play golf at a high level with the right amount of practice because it takes little athletic prowess.
Sorry but it's true.
Q: Why would a top young American athlete opt for soccer or rugby if he could make NBA dollars or play in the NFL?
Will this cultural dynamic ever change?
A: Of course, money and fame would change the American athletes decision to play soccer.
I have friends who were great wrestlers that stopped wrestling, because nobody really seems to care about the sport enough to go watch it.
Instead they joined the basketball team.

I don't think the sports culture will change much because in America we love tradition and soccer is not a traditional sport.